So this blog is off to a great start – I finished this book a week ago and never wrote the review for it.
I received Da Vinci’s Tiger in the December OwlCrate (a monthly YA subscription box, more info can be found at http://owlcrate.com/howitworks) and stuck to my goal of reading it within a month of receiving it.
Da Vinci’s Tiger is a historical fiction inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait, Ginevra de’ Benci. Now, I am kind of on a feminist kick as of late (I blame the lack of Rey toys in Star Wars merch, as well as the lack of Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and Gamora. But really, just because, you know, feminism), so I was really excited to get a rather fierce main character who happened to be a female living in the very patriarchal society of 1475 Florence, Italy. I also love that she commented on such topics as how she felt about the fact that she had to get her husband’s permission just to attend a dinner at Lorenzo Medici’s home (just to name one that I remember because like I said, I read it a week ago and also sometimes the comments were just in her thoughts, but it was still refreshing that she was bringing up the ridiculousness of it).
Overall, I did enjoy the book, especially the rich details that were presented. It was obvious that L.M. Elliott did her research to make sure she captured what it was like in Florence in 1475 from the setting to the clothing. However, I found myself wanting Leonardo to have a bigger presence in the novel (he is in the title of the book after all, and his scenes were a breath of fresh air because of his wit and how his banter with Ginevra really made you think). I also felt like the ending was a bit rushed. However, what really made me rank the book lower was that I was not happy with the way things ended between Ginevra and Bernardo. I personally think that the situation that occurred between the two is overused in literature and I personally did not see the necessity of including it. Surely there was a better way of handling the end of that relationship. I could be wrong, of course, given the time period, but I just think that there needs to be less of that situation in media in general. But again, that is my personal take on it. Elliott’s prose was engaging and I found myself repeatedly saying, “Just one more chapter and then I’ll go to bed.”
After all was said and done, I gave Da Vinci’s Tiger 4 out of 5 stars.